Pandemic Silences Thailand’s Tuk Tuks

Hundreds of tour buses, boats and a few-wheeled motorized “tuk tuks” sit unused throughout Thailand’s money, Bangkok. The coronavirus pandemic and a absence of overseas travelers have introduced the transport business to a halt.

Lunar New Calendar year celebrations start off on Friday. In usual many years, the holiday would bring a increase in paying out and travel between Thais. It also would deliver guests from China and other places in Asia. Tuk tuks, buses and boats would be in significant demand from customers.

But the pandemic has left lots of motorists and homeowners struggling economically. A latest analyze predicted Lunar New Year paying out would go through its sharpest tumble in 13 yrs.

Kraisat Kulkiatprasert rents tuk tuks to motorists. Recently, he has been leasing out no more than 10 vehicles a day. In the previous, he would hire out far more than 100 in a working day.

“These tuk tuks have been parked for a year…you can see them all lined with dust,” Kraisat claimed.

“I will check the circumstance for a further year,” he additional. “If it doesn’t get superior, I will have to shut down.”

Campon Taikae is a 50-calendar year-previous tuk tuk driver. He mentioned he had attained only 50 baht ($1.70) following driving for hours a working day before. But he felt he had no opportunity of getting a further job.

In another part of Bangkok, extended strains of passenger tour buses sit empty.

“Before the COVID pandemic, I have never ever been quick of perform,” reported driver Tossaporn Rakratchakarn. He remembers occupied days in the past when he would drop off 1 team of travellers and quickly decide up a different.

“It’s been a 12 months now and there’s been no movement at all,” Tossaporn additional.

Wasuchet Sophonsathien is president of the Thai Transportation Operators Affiliation. He mentioned only about 10 percent of Thailand’s 40,000 tour buses have been nevertheless running.

The tale is the exact for a lot of tour boats. Mani Hogkhontod is a 54-12 months-outdated boat driver. In the earlier, travellers would fill his boat. But now, matters are fully diverse.

“I have been wondering about finding a new occupation,” he claimed. “But I am apprehensive that I have to start off from zero, simply because of my operate encounter and age.”

I’m Jonathan Evans.

The Reuters news agency described this story. Ashley Thompson tailored it for VOA Discovering English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.


Words and phrases in This Tale

tour n. an exercise in which you go through a position (these as a setting up or metropolis) in purchase to see and study about the distinct parts of it

lease – v.​ to spend income in return for remaining equipped to use (one thing that belongs to a person else)​

monitor – v. to view, observe, listen to, or verify (a little something) for a specific goal more than a interval of time​

fall off phrasal verb. to choose (anyone or a thing) to a spot and then depart